8.48 ndian onom
special and differential treatment in favour of abuse of anti-dumping laws and remove non-
developing countries.77 tariff barriers (NTBs) used to block goods from
Though this provision has realised the scope developing countries.
of unjustified kind of health and phytosanitory
measures on the developing countries, the sWiss formulA
developed nations have been beautifully able A variety of alternative methods are possible in
to do so by validating their health and related the process of tariff reductions—some are more
rules on scientific grounds. Such instances have common than others. Some are based on formulas.
distorted trade in favour of these countries and But one thing should be kept in mind that
the developing countries’ agriculture has been whatever formula be agreed upon it does not have
the real loser. The developing countries accuse value unless it is properly implemented. Even after
such measures as the non-tarrif barriers used by a formula or combination of formulas has been
the developed nations to block goods from the agreed upon, the final outcome of tariff reductions
developing nations. may depend on the bargaining capacity between
The Swiss Formula79 belongs to the
The Non-Agricultural Products Market Access classification of formulas known as having
(NAMA) is a part of the WTO provisions which harmonising impact. Since such a formula
deals with the idea of encouraging market reach prescribes a higher/steeper cut on higher tariffs and
to the non-agricultural goods of the member lower cuts on lower tariffs it is seen to harmonise
countries.78 But the encouragement was objected/ the rates by bringing the final rates becoming
opposed by the developing countries, especially closer and bridging the gap.
pointing to the non-tariff barriers enforced by
The formula was proposed by Switzerland in
the developed countries. At the Doha Ministerial
Conference (November 2001), ministers agreed the Tokyo round negotiations of GATT (1973–
to start negotiations to further liberalise trade 79). But Switzerland opposes using this method
of non-agricultural products. By early 2002, a in the current agriculture negotiations—it prefers
Negotiating Group on NAMA was created. The the Uruguay Round formula.
members at the meet decided to go for tariff The Uruguay Round (1986–94) negotiations
reductions on non-agricultural products adopting in agriculture produced an agreement for
the Swiss Formula. developed countries to cut tariffs on agricultural
One major concern that the members took products by an average of 36 per cent over six years
note was of the small and vulnerable economies (6 per cent per year) with a minimum tariff cut of
for whom a flexibility was committed while going 15 per cent on each product for the period. It was
for tariff reductions. For India, market access is not a version of flat rate method of tariff reductions.80
an issue of tariffs alone, but it means elimination
of tariff peaks and tariff escalation in the markets nAtIonAl Food securIty Act
of the developed countries. It will also end the
The National Food Security Act was enacted
77. WTO, Article 14, AoA, 1994. by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and
78. As per the provisions of the WTO fishes, fisheries
products and forest products don’t fall under agriculture 79. WTO, “Formula Approaches to Tariff Negotiations”
and have been classified as the non-agricultural (Revised), Oct. 2007.
products. 80. Uruguay Round of GATT, 1994.